While we don't have an official summer bucket list yet, there are a few things we stated rather early on that we wanted to make sure to do this summer. Taking family walks and hikes was high on that list. We are so lucky to live where we do---with lots of trails right out our backyard.
Mark has rekindled an interest in birdwatching and so he picked Barr Lake as one of our first places. We invited my mother in law along and packed up snacks, binoculars and sunscreen.
Right away we found a swampy little alcove were the water had receded enough that you could walk down amongst the trees. The kids were fascinated by the huge dead fish that were "beached." They also found lots of bones preserved in the dirt. As we were exploring a deer walked right by us and we all were a little blown away by how close it was.
While half the party was scouring the tree tops for birds, the twins and I went up ahead.
There was this long winding marina with no end in sight and lots of birds and bugs to explore.
We ended up getting completely eaten by mosquitos, despite wearing bug bands, and I made a mental note to pack bug spray next time. It got really bad at the end of the marina where there is a birdwatching hut and paths that reach the shoreline of the lake. We hightailed it out of there pretty quick when we realized we were getting swarmed.
The nature center on site was super kid-friendly and hands on. They even sold popsicles for a quarter, which after a hot walk back was a perfect treat.
One of the best treats was that the park ranger gave us a passport to use at all the state parks. You can collect stamps and fill your book, just like a regular passport!
We're already talking about which park to go to next!